Jesse Jackson Jr., Wife Going to Prison

He gets 30 months, she gets 1 year in staggered sentences

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 14, 2013 12:16 PM CDT | Updated Aug 14, 2013 12:56 PM CDT

(Newser) – Jesse Jackson Jr. wept in court today, apologized for using $750,000 in campaign funds as his personal piggy bank, and then took his lumps: 30 months in federal prison and three years' probation, reports the Chicago Tribune. “I am the example for the whole Congress,” he said. “I understand that. I didn’t separate my personal life from my political activities, and I couldn’t have been more wrong.” The former Illinois congressman added an unusual request: He wants to serve his time in Alabama because "I want to make it a little inconvenient for everybody to get to me.”

His wife, Sandi, then got sentenced to 12 months in prison for filing false tax returns about their income, reports AP. She wept, too. “My heart breaks every day with the pain this has caused my babies,” she said, referring to their two children, ages 9 and 13. Because of the kids, the judge will allow the Jacksons to stagger their sentences and to decide themselves who goes first, reports the Sun-Times. Interesting part noted by the Tribune: The judge made a point to sentence Sandi Jackson to exactly one year, not the more common one year and one day. The latter would have made her eligible for time off for good behavior. Now she must serve her full term.

Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandra, arrive at federal court in Washington Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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